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Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, were escorted at Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol police officer hailed as a hero for single-handedly leading the mob that broke into the Capitol two weeks ago away from the Senate chamber.
Goodman has also been promoted to acting deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Senate, one of the most prominent positions in the Capitol Hill security force, according to an official announcement at the ceremony.
Goodman won praise for confronting a mob of Donald Trump supporters that broke into the Capitol on 6 January in an effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
As the mob bore down on the closed doors leading to the Senate chamber, from which it was believed that not all members of Congress had yet been evacuated, Goodman intercepted the crowd.
He engaged the leaders of the group and – when they pushed forward – he retreated down an adjacent hallway, leading the mob away from the chamber. In a photograph of the moment captured by a journalist, Goodman, wearing a mask and gloves, points at the mob, demanding their retreat.
Elsewhere in the Capitol that day, insurrectionists beat another officer to death, and dozens of officers were injured. In the weeks since the incursion, evidence has emerged that some insurrectionists had come with a serious intention to harm or kidnap lawmakers.
Members of Congress from both parties have called for Goodman to receive a congressional gold medal. The decoration has traditionally been used to recognize members of the military for distinguished service.